In an emotional new book, This is Us actress Chrissy Metz, 37, opens up about a childhood marked with – not defined by – abuse and humiliation around her weight.
Her father, she writes in her memoir This is Me released this month, left her and her two older siblings with their mother, Denise, when she was eight.
Her mother remarried a man Metz calls ‘Trigger’. And, though he was loving and affectionate with his biological children, he treated her – especially her because of her weight – with bouts of hot affection and cold disdain.
“My body seemed to offend him, but he couldn’t help but stare, especially when I was eating,” she writes, People reports.
“He joked about putting a lock on the refrigerator. We had lived [in poverty], with a lack of food, for so long, that when it was there, I felt like I had to eat it before it disappeared.”
She said she – like many others who’ve experienced something similar – began binge eating in secret. She would wake in the middle of the night and cram her body with the food that would bring her immediate satisfaction. Anything that wouldn’t leave a trace, but that would effectively fill her hunger.
“Food was my only happiness,” Metz writes.